Domestic violence episodes ending in murder are generally horrific enough; but the story of a cold and calculating daughter murdering her parents with the help of her husband because the couple needed the money and wanted to cash the parents' pension checks is about as cold as it gets. On June 20 in a British courtroom, Susan and Christopher Edwards were both found guilty of the premeditated murders of Susan’s parents back in May 1998, according to ABC News.
After the murders, the Edwards simply told friends and family that the parents were alive and well and traveling. Meanwhile, the couple continued to collect their parents’ pension checks, which came to about $425,000 over the years.
According to court testimony from the Edwards’ trial out of Nottingham Crown Court, the Edwards were found guilty today of shooting and killing the parents, William and Patricia Wycherley, and then burying the bodies in the back yard of their Mansfield, England home in the spring of 1998. Somewhere along the line, Christopher informed a family member as to the couple’s dastardly deed; that family member in turn eventually informed the police.
The Edwards sold the family home in 2005 with the Wycherleys still buried in the back yard. Police Detective Chief Inspector Rob Griffin said "I think cold is the word."
Police unearthed the bodies in October after being tipped off by a family member that Christopher Edwards had admitted to burying the bodies.
The couple had moved to France but were arrested at a London railway station after emailing police to say they wanted to surrender.
The day following the 1998 murders, Susan looted her parents’ bank account for almost $68,000, according to the BBC. The Edwards helped cover up the murders by forging postcards, letters and Christmas cards from the dead parents to family and friends. In addition to emptying out savings accounts and cashing pension checks, the Edwards also forged the Wycherleys’ signatures when it came time to sell their home in Mansfield.
By the time the Edwards surrendered to authorities, they were almost broke. Some of the funds stolen from the Wycherleys’ were squandered on celebrity memorabilia, including autographs of Frank Sinatra and Gary Cooper.
Susan's defence barrister David Howker described their "hideous expenditure" on Gary Cooper items. Former accountant Christopher "indulged her fascination for celebrities and autographs" by buying her the items as gifts, he said. He had racked up a debt of £14,000 [$23,839.20] on one credit card.
At trial, the Edwards both pleaded not guilty to the murders. Susan’s story was that “she had been provoked into shooting her mother after her mother killed her father.” The jury didn’t buy that story however and found both of the Edwards guilty of the shooting murders. Their sentencing is scheduled for June 23.